Hi, my name is Stacey and I am a workaholic. Apparently. I’m sure here’s been some mix-up with the test results. I don’t think I’m hell-bent on working myself to death. If I kick the bucket due to some kind of excess, I was hoping it would be something more pleasant like my heart choked after a chocolate-mousse-meet-Ryan-Gosling-movie marathon. Not in the pursuit of injecting as much money into my family’s bank account as possible.
Therein lies the ugly chestnut. You see, I think I work hard because I want my boys to have a decent education and go to sleep at night with something more substantial than fish fingers in their bellies. But, from the outside it looks like I’m having a torrid affair with my laptop.
I think I put in so many hours out of desperation, but from the outside it looks like I’m disinterested, disconnected, just plain don’t give a damn about the people I’m trying so hard to feed, clothe and provide shelter for.
This is a problem, dear reader. There’s not much room in my nifty Google calendar for quality time with the family.
I read an article yesterday that was like having a iced Slush Puppy poured down the back of my shirt, titled ‘Stop Complaining About How Busy You Are’. Basically what it said was: we’re all busy, and it’s not a competition to see who is the busiest. My take-away from that was that being busy does not equal being successful. Which made me look at my Google calendar, with its string of deadlines and media functions and coffee meets and school commitments and think ‘What exactly are you DOING with your time?”
My children won’t remember that mommy went zooming around a racetrack in a Ferrari as part of an exhilarating media day. They won’t share my deep sense of accomplishment yesterday when the first issue of a brand new healthcare magazine I was working on went to print. All they’ll remember is irritated mommy who won’t come push you on the swing outside because she’s tap-tap-tapping on her keyboard. That’s if they remember me at all – and don’t think my face is actually a metal rectangle approximately the size and shape of an iPad as I catch up on my emails after dinnertime.
The trick is not so much making more time for the kids, it’s being ‘present’ when I’d have time for them. Not on my phone. Not with Big Bang Theory playing on a loop in the background; the incessant soundtrack to our mealtimes. Not pushing that swing on the outside, but brainstorming a new tagline for a campaign on the inside. The present of presence.
So this is my challenge this summer. Keep growing my business, but not at the expense of my children’s childhood memories. Keep working hard, but not complaining about it. Managing my time wisely. Being fully in the moment.
And speaking of special moments, here are a few I was there for that I haven’t shared with you: